Mahmoud Abbas, the Last Jew?

The 'Jewish State' that the Netanyahu regime wishes to impose is a racist disaster, which must be stopped.

Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) might very well be the last Jew. His stance against exchanging the State of Israel for a “Jewish state” is the last barrier standing before an existential threat hovering over the dream of millions of people of Jewish origins, who yearned for a state in which their right to self determination would be fulfilled, based on the promises of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, to grant full equality to all its citizens, without regard to religion, race or gender.

The “Jewish state” of Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Eli Ben Dahan, which staged a coup against the State of Israel with its cries of “in blood and fire we will expel Rabin,” is the exact opposite of the dream on which Israel was founded. The Jewish State that the Netanyahu regime wishes to impose is no longer a democratic nation-state. Its Jewish component has not for a long time been an expression of the nation’s humane aspects according to the Declaration of Independence, and not even an expression of forced compliance with these principles. The “Jewish” aspect is now construed not as a religious or racial designation, but as a combined racially-religiously defined state.

The statement by the person appointed by Netanyahu-Lapid-Livni as deputy minister with authority over the Religious Services Ministry (all religions, needless to say), according to whom “the soul of a Jew is always far more elevated than that of a gentile,” is not a personal quirk. It has become the faith of this regime. Try to imagine a minister or deputy minister in any democracy uttering such words and remaining in office for one more minute. This would not happen even in Rohani’s Iran. Yes, it’s only possible in one country.

Ben Dahan did not express only his own opinion, but rather reflected the attitude of the regime. More than half of the country’s Jewish first graders go to religious or ultra-Orthodox schools, where they are taught according to Ben Dahan’s precepts or worse. Now even the non-religious state education system is being taken over by a host of organizations and by subsidized, government-sanctioned drives to raise “Jewish consciousness.”

It’s true that often a victim of violence becomes violent in turn. Still, the unfolding of a state in which a nation that, with blood and sweat, built a refuge from the evils of race-religion, only to be conquered from within by a regime of race-religion, is the epitome of horrors.

It’s not “only” education and religion. Within Israel, marriages between Jews and non-Jews are prohibited. Israel does not generally grant citizenship to anyone who is not connected through some familial blood-race connection to the Jewish race. In Israel’s capital Jews are citizens while those not of the Jewish race aren’t. Ownership of land in Israel is determined by race-religion. Refugees seeking asylum from countries in which genocide is taking place and who have valid visas are put in detention centers without trial. The regime tramples on the Supreme Court, which forbade this draconian practice, and assigns numbers to these refugees while sending them to do work for “the benefit of society.”

Anyone who has visited Abu Mazen knows that in his language, personality and culture, he resembles the grandparents of many of us, as well as the millions of Jews who dreamed and built this refuge from racial persecution, more than he resembles the regime here. He certainly does not resemble a ruler who, when Jews immolate themselves in the streets as a result of the gaps in society that his policies caused, covets a billion for building his palace; he certainly is not like a ruler who, when hearing that the regime’s planes killed a 3-year-old girl, is proud of punishing those who tested us.

This is a last call directed at three people: Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Herzog. Not one of them is a rightist of the race-religion camp. The Netanyahu-Ben Dahan regime doesn’t have a majority on its own. We’re talking about 61 MK’s who depend every day on the likes of the messianic Orit Strock and Moshe Feiglin and on the democrat Reuven Rivlin. They can’t hold out against the entire world, and people will be eager to replace them. All this endless debate over a porous framework agreement only serves as a thin fig leaf for the ongoing transformation of Israel into a racial-religious state.

Stop the disaster. Join Abu Mazen. Stop what the leadership is calling a “Jewish state.” Bring down the regime – it’s in your hands.

Tomer Appelbaum